Category Archives: Summer

summer lavender

Does anything smell better than a summer stroll through lavender? It’s taken a learning curve for me to grow it—bright sunlight and the right kind of soil. It likes its own space, Lavenderdoesn’t like to be crowded into a pot or a flower bed. I guess you could say it doesn’t like to share. But what I’ve discovered is to prune, prune, prune. Deadhead all the brown stuff and do it quickly, otherwise the part that’s just bloomed and wilted will take over your entire plant(s). As for the soil, I was told to add in limestone or sand to let it drain, drain, drain. So don’t spend years making the same mistakes I made. With a little research you can come up with the right mix to grow lavender. Just remember it doesn’t like to be neglected. But when it blooms, the fragrance is well worth the fuss. And you can’t beat the purple color that invariably brightens up a spot where white daisies and hydrangeas thrive. If you’re hesitant to grow lavender, take the plunge. What used to be a failure in the garden, is now a summer staple for me. I love the aroma. For that alone, I make the extra effort.

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Filed under Blogging, Daisies, Drought, Flowers, Gardening, Life, Nature, Posts, Southern California, Summer, Vickie McKeehan

summer + nature = redwoods

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No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe.

~ John Steinbeck

Summer along the California coast is inspirational, nothing more so than the Redwood National Forest, enjoying it so much I’m making it a feature in the next series.

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#5 Skye Cree: Truth in the Bones

Skye Cree is after a madman like no other. He’s cunning, smart, dangerous, a serial killer who preys on entire families. He’s gone undetected for five years until an analytical nerd stumbles on a pattern of murders across the U.S. with no apparent connections.

Slowly Skye begins to connect the dots. But with lives at stake, will she be able to figure out the link in time to catch this psychopath before he adds more victims to his tally? Or will she get outfoxed and jeopardize everything she loves one last time? Everything hinges on trying to end the reign of a serial killer who has nothing to lose. Will Skye take him down and find justice for the families or has she met her match?

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Skye Cree joins the ranks of Audiobooks

Teri Schnaubelt brings to life Skye Cree in The Bones of Others now out in Audio at Tantor Media and Amazon.

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Summer garden envy

 

GardenReadReading and Nature

A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.
~ Gertrude Jekyll

I envy people who live in other regions of the country who don’t have the drought conditions to deal with on a daily basis. It’s tough to grow anything dealing with water restrictions. Maybe that’s why I post so many pictures of gardens, dreaming mine could be this great.

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Summer possibilities

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Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.

~ Henry James

Photo credit: Soothing Dew

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My big Sansa problem

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As some of you may know, I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan. But after Sunday night’s episode, I’m having second thoughts about why. If you haven’t seen the “Battle of the Bastards” yet then be forewarned, there are SPOILERS coming! A lot of them!

My major complaint–and I just can’t get past this–Sansa stands around and does nothing to stop her brother, Jon Snow, from going into battle, where his meager army gets slaughtered. As I watched my TV in horror, the same  question kept whirling around in my head. How did Sansa know Jon would survive what ended up becoming a meat grinder?

The answer is  she didn’t. And I don’t think she cared one bit. Many people seem willing to give her kudos for saving the day. In reality, she did just the opposite. She gave the North to Littlefinger.

And it all started with her holding onto her little secret for no other reason than revenge in mind. It came across as though she didn’t give two hangs about Jon getting killed or anyone else for that matter. She  held onto her secret knowing full well she’d written to Littlefinger for help. Why not share that with her brother? Maybe save hundreds of lives while she’s at it.

But no, Sansa keeps this all to herself. She cleverly gets rid of her faithful, loyal knight, Brienne of Tarth, by sending her off on some stupid errand that seemed like filler to me.. Now I understand why. I can only figure that this was cunningly clever on Sansa’s part because she didn’t want Brienne around to see her true nature kick in. Brienne, after all, believes in honor and would no doubt have had a thing or two to say to Sansa about getting an entire army wiped out and setting up Jon Snow for an abysmal failure. Oh wait, Sansa needed her revenge on Ramsay, after all, at any cost, no matter who she had to watch die to get it. Are we forgetting that Sansa is the one who goaded Jon into battle in the first place and just wouldn’t shut up about attacking Ramsay’s army?

For all those who say Sansa asked Jon to wait, my answer to that is very simple. Give the man a reason! And  Sansa did not. She could’ve told him her plan, failed folly or not, Jon could’ve made a more informed decision. If the writers thought Sansa would come off as some type of heroic feminist–they failed miserably with me. Instead, I see her for what she truly is, a villainous Stark daughter, willing to do anything to avenge herself, even if that means getting her own brother killed. Now that’s a vengeful wench, not the mark of a brave woman, or a true leader, or a future queen. She’s not fit to rule any better than Ramsay was. Rather than lead or try to save lives Sansa sacrificed any and all who were willing to fight. She’s no different than Cersei who always thinks of herself first.

What gets me is that I’ve read other blogs and they all seem to defend Sansa, which for me is ridiculous. This is the same woman whose lie got the little butcher boy killed, who turned on her own father in favor of Joffrey, who lied to save Littlefinger, who repeatedly puts her welfare above her family and that of anyone else she professes to love. If that’s love, no thanks, I’ll pass.

Some say she didn’t tell Jon because she hadn’t yet received a reply from Littlefinger and wasn’t certain he’d show up. I don’t care. It was still a valuable piece of the puzzle.  I don’t care  if she finally got to watch Ramsay die. Jon beat the crap out of him and then turned him over to Sansa. Way to go Jon!

The last point, and maybe the strongest, is that smirk on Sansa’s face as she sits on her horse next to Littlefinger’s overlooking the battlefield, a battlefield full of blood spilled and piles of bodies. To me, she seemed to enjoy the scene a little too much, as if she’d taken her cue directly from Ramsay Bolton himself, smugly relishing in the carnage. Ugh! Smirking out onto the battlefield reminded me of another heartless, cold-hearted psychopath named Ramsay Bolton. But Sansa’s supposed to somehow be different. I don’t think so. She seemed pleased with herself as she watched her bloodied victims die for her own selfish gain.

Others are touting that now Sansa is the brilliant tactician. Yeah. Right. The writers seem destined to make Jon Snow the doofus, the former Night Watch commander who has actually seen battle and won victoriously again and again, has now been relegated to the sidelines when it comes to Sansa and Littlefinger. Maybe we’re supposed to believe Jon’s lost his ability to think since he was brought back to life. Even with half a brain, he’s better than Sansa in so many ways!

So to sum up, these turn of events beg me to ask the question to the writers about the direction of the Stark daughter. Just what kind of monster have you created now? Oh goody, you’ve given us another Cersei, maybe another Joffrey. While one monster bites the dust another rises up. But during all of it, thank you for finally proving to me that Sansa was never fit to rule. She has no heart, no compassion. Name one time Sansa has ever shown compassion to anyone because I must’ve missed the two seconds of that.

On second thought, don’t bother to answer. I’m not sure I’ll stick around to watch episode 10. I’m not sure I really care any more.

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